Growing Elegant Palms in Containers (Google / Home Gardening Tips)

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Growing Elegant Palms in Containers: Few Simple Tips

Palms are one of the most attractive plants and if planted in pots they give elegance to your home garden. You can also add up beauty by placing them inside of your home as well. Growing palms in pots is equally simple. You just need to confirm that the climatic conditions in your area are conducive to this plant’s growth. Palms in pots are more versatile. In your home, a decorative touch can be given to a balcony with its lush tropical look. You may choose the place as per your convenience as not much space is required for this.

There are plethoras of palm varieties you can choose. There are ranges in sizes, leaf shapes, and growth habits. Single trunk varieties of palms originated from the rainforests. It was necessary for these plants to grow tall and slender to get an access to the direct sunlight by crossing through the forest canopies. However, if enough sunlight is easily available and if planted in pots these plants do not require growing tall and slender in the same way. This adaptability makes palms the most suitable home gardening and decorative plant.

Clumping growth habits of palms normally determine its positioning in a home garden. Clumping growth means the plant is used to the low-light positions and therefore such varieties are best as indoor plants. You may place them in a shaded area as well. On the other side, clumpers like the “Golden Cane Palm (Chrysadidocarpus Lutescens)” would be best for placing near the poolside, as it loves full sunlight. Varieties like “Rhapis palm” ads up great architectural effects when planted in containers and placed in the home.

Bottle palm or the Hyophorbe Legenicaulis, is also a beautiful variety. It has its trunk in the shape of a bottle. This particular variety is best suitable for growing them in containers. Leaves of this palm are generally glossy green in colour and the stem would display a pinky red shade giving the whole plant a very different look.

“Variegated Rhapis Excelsa” is one more variety of lovely palms. This particular palm is an elegant one indeed. Originated in china, the plant was variegated by the Japanese who really took pains to develop this variety. You will not find this particular variety easily anywhere. It is rather extremely rare and that is why it is expensive. You will have to shell out handsome amount for this variety of palm. This plant has its typical slow growth and because of this unique characteristic, you do not require frequent re-potting. This variety grows well in shade and therefore it is an excellent choice for indoor gardening.

Potting up a palm is no nuclear science and you simply need a gardening sense (you may say ‘commonsense’). You must know few simple steps when you want to go ahead with growing palms. First step is about buying the most suitable pot and making a good draining hole in its bottom. For palms, specifically the hole should be bigger comparatively. Then you need a good potting mix. It must be free from draining but must hold enough moisture at the same time. The potting mix should be just enough draining otherwise you will be busy watering all the time.

Next step would be to plant the palm in a pot. You should ensure that the roots of the plant are not teased in any way. Put the plant in new pot, add the potting mix, and make it hold the plant firmly. Sprinkle water very slowly and then add a little fertilizer. Almost a spoonful of fertilizer should be enough at this stage. There must be a space left between the top of the pot and the top layer of the potting mix. Usually a distance of about 25 millimetres would be sufficient. You will have more convenience while watering the plant with this distance. At the same time, this space would also enable you to place some beautiful pebbles and other rock pieces giving the pot an elegant look.


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Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.